First weekend

Trip Start Aug 07, 2008
Trip End Oct 25, 2008

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Monday, August 11, 2008

Well, it took an exhausting 22 hours of travelling from leaving hannahs house to arriving at my hostel in managua. Straight to bed at 10pm local time. Met a couple of nice english people in the hostel who made me really look forward to leon. Managua was a dump, overcrowded and empty at the same time. It´s hard to describe. There´s no centre of town, the nearest thing is a modern style shopping mall. Food surprised me, a croissant (it had scrambled egg inside) and a cheese pastry (it had sugar on top) was my breakfast. Went up an extinct volcano in the centre of town and had some good views of the place. This was also the site of a prison and the torture of many revolutionaries previously, so there are memorials such as poems and tanks.

Squeezed into a minibus with my 2 backpacks on my lap for the journey to leon. It´s apparently one of the nicest colonial towns in Nicaragua, but my accomodation (lodging with an elderly couple) is on the edge of town, about 20m after the paved road system ends. My lodging is basic, even though there are 3 beds and 3 rooms just for me! Shower is just a tap 6ft up the wall in a partitioned corner of the room. My ´living room´ is pretty nice though, with some wooden carved rocking chairs.

Spent all of Saturday walking around town, which is pleasant. There are some very nice churches, though some are in definite need of a lick of paint (and probably were in need of it in the 70s too). Went to a museum which contains displays on 2 very different things, the use of the building as a torture prison in the 60s and 70s, and a papier mache models of childrens bedtime story characters.

Sunday I went to a backpacker cafe, to have a beer and hopefully bump into some people. As it turned out, an excursion was just about to leave. So I ended up going along to a cock fight. This is apparently quite a big thing in Nicaragua, with some people being professional cock rearers and bets and prized on fights being tens of thousands of US$. Apparently there is an art to rearing a champion, you have to jog with him for 30 minutes a day, and give him boxing gloves and an opponent to spar with. The cock fight we went to was just a small local one, with a couple of hundred dollars going on each fight. We were treated to free beer and snacks, and watched the spectacle. The loser doesn't have to die in the Nicaraguan version (though still does about 20% of the time), you'd think that would put people off chicken, but we were happily eating ¨last weeks loser¨as our snack. Someone found a baby alligator, about 20cm long, so we got to hold him (carefully, he still gave someone a bit of a cut)
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